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Waterline breaks cause damage at Butte library

Posted at 8:28 PM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 10:57:47-05

BUTTE — Everybody knows books and water do not mix; that’s why a pipe burst at a library is a serious thing. Well, the recent cold snap here in Montana caused two waterline breaks at the Butte Public Library. Fortunately, the books are dry.

“They were a little concerned because there was maybe three-fourths of an inch of water on the floor, but no books were damaged, we got the drains cleared,” said Library Director Stef Johnson.

The waterline break was discovered Wednesday evening, Jan. 17, in the basement restroom of the library as staff were closing the building for the evening.

“You can see it took out the ceiling panels. We’re going to get some plumbing repairs done in there. My real concern is we have a break behind the tile wall, so that’ll be a little more extensive,” said Johnson.

Late Jan. 14, a pipe in the ceiling of the entryway of the library broke and caused some damage to the ceiling panels. Though water has been cut off to the downstairs restroom, the library remains open for business.

Officials say the library building was constructed in 1905 and occasionally experiences broken pipes during deep freezes.

“We’re hoping to get a new boiler system sometime in the next few years as well. We’ve got a great system right now, but it’s well past its expected lifespan,” said Johnson.